Best meal I ever ate:
It's a tie. The French Laundry vs. the first garden tomato sandwich of (every) summer.
My current drink of choice:
I'm stuck on Honig. I like the standard 2004 Cabernet better than any of the reserve or special variants. For weeknights: Bogle.
I really wish I could:
Get back to a freaking gas stove (stuck with the electric in the rental apartment until June).
My "Go-to" dinner party dish:
The River Cafe's Lemon Tart. Guarantees that guests will leave, regardless of what was served for the main course, in a sour, sugary stupefaction. And having eaten 3-4 eggs per capita.
My favorite comfort food:
Chicken shwarma dipped in hummous. Especially comforting -- licking lemony, garlicky juice off the fingers (and wrists, and etc.). At its best, requires laundry the next morning. Unfortunately, it's been a while, as I've never had a decent shwarma west of the Med.
My top 5 favorite restaurants:
The French Laundry, not just for the food, but for giving me a reservation when I e-mailed from Baghdad. The cold mezze selection at the Four Seasons Amman, ordered room service around 0100. The Thai restaurant (there's only one) in Gulberg, Lahore, Pakistan. The cheesy bar/club in Virginia Beach that does great, inexplicably cheap seared Ahi with wasabi mayo and fixings. In Jerusalem, Abu Shukri. Oh. My. Word. That -is- some hummous.
My most tattered cookbooks:
Nigel Slater's "The Kitchen Diaries". From college days (but heck, they taught me to cook), the River Cafe series. Claudia Rosen and May Bsisu's books on Arab cookery (although I find myself increasingly relying on guesswork and imitation for Middle Eastern Food). And is it just me, or do others find better Thai recipes on the internet than in cookbooks?